What Can We Learn About Business From The Boston Pops – Part 2

About two weeks ago I went to a wonderful Boston Pops concert at Tanglewood.  While enjoying the concert, my mind wondered to business and I had two Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs). My first BFO was the subject of Part 1 of this post, that a well run business is like a symphonic orchestra.  The second BFO I had at the concert reinforced one of the core themes of my coaching; the goal of successful, effective delegation as opposed to abdication or, even worst, keeping every responsibility and task for yourself.  Something I call responsibility hoarding. I know this is an extreme example, but imagine for a moment that there were no section leaders, concert masters or first chairs in an orchestra.  That there was no one the conductor could delegate local leadership to, no one to be responsible for assisting the conductor with interpreting and communicating his or her vision of the performance of each piece of music to be presented. Without section leaders present during rehearsals, both the conductor and the orchestra cannot maximize the value of their time.  When the conductor works with the violins, the other sections are listening but idle.  Major orchestras with section leaders, often have separate concurrent sectional rehearsals, a much more effective use of everyone’s time.  During concerts, when the conductor turns his or her attention stage right, toward the violins, the other sections do not get lost, they can follow their section leaders.  Bottom line, the conductor, and by extension, the entire orchestra, gets the benefit of tremendous time and operational leverage. So in your business, you should always be aware of the following key questions:

-Have you identified your team (both internal and external)? -Are you delegating?  Successfully and effectively? -Are you even trying to delegate those things you are not good at, hate doing or shouldn’t be doing?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you must answer YES to the next question:

-Are you your businesses biggest roadblock, in the way of growth and long term success?

No delegation equals no consistent growth, no long-term success and you becoming, if you haven’t already, a slave to your business with no exit plan.  I don’t mean to imply that successful, effective delegation is easy.  Delegation is both an art and a science which must be studied before it can put into your daily routine.  It starts with your desire to get leverage in your business, a desire to delegate. If you are not currently delegating, are not getting the results you expect in your business, have no plans to delegate or don’t know how to begin delegating, get thee to a business coach.  Any of my colleagues at ActionCOACH and I are expert in successful, effective delegation.

What Can We Learn About Business From The Boston Pops – Part 1

While at Tanglewood last night for a wonderful Boston Pops Orchestra concert under the baton of conductor Keith Lockhart, I started thinking (as I often do) about business.  It was then that a very powerful analogy struck me … a successful business is analogous to a symphonic orchestra.
  • An orchestra has sections; violins, cellos, violas, percussion, etc. – a business has, or will have, departments; production, shipping, marketing, sales, etc.
  • An orchestra has management; first chairs, section leaders, conductor, etc. – a business also has management; department heads, managers, executives, etc.
  • Most importantly, an orchestra has both a local (short-term) mission, the score of the piece they are performing and a global (long-term) mission, delivering beautiful, meaningful music to the audience. Your business, to be successful, not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as well, MUST have both a global mission and local (departmental) missions in order to consistently deliver value to your customers.
Just like the Boston Pops and The Boston Symphony benefits from the teamwork that starts with their mission and culture, and enables them to deliver beautiful music night after night, so can your business benefit from the strong team based performance that results from having a powerful, communicated and genuine mission and culture.